San Antonio Spurs: nba FUTURES & BETTING ODDS
The Spurs began play as the Dallas Chaparrals in 1967 in the American Basketball Association. The team moved to San Antonio and changed its name to the Spurs for the 1974 season, during which they acquired guard George Gervin. The Spurs would make the ABA playoffs in each of the next four postseasons, only to lose in the first round all four times. After the 1975-76 season, the ABA would merge with the NBA, with the Spurs joining the NBA, along with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, and Indiana Pacers.
Few fans bet on the San Antonio Spurs to make the playoffs in their first season in the NBA, but they did, behind Gervin and Rookie of the Year Swen Nater, but they lost to the Celtics in the first round. The following season, some experts did bet on San Antonio Spurs to make a championship run, and while the Spurs won 52 games and George Gervin won the league’s scoring title by scoring 63 points on the season’s final day, the Spurs were upset by the Washington Bullets in the first round of the playoffs.
The Spurs, still in the Eastern conference, won their first NBA playoff series over the 76ers in 1978-79, and the San Antonio Spurs odds to make their first ever Finals looked strong, but the team blew a 3-1 lead against the Wizards in the conference finals. In total, the Spurs made the postseason in their first seven seasons in the NBA, finishing .500 or better in all seven seasons.
The Spurs finally missed the playoffs in 1983-84, and then traded star Gervin to the Bulls after a disappointing first round playoff exit in 1985. From 1983-84 through 1988-89, the Spurs missed the playoffs three times and lost in the first round three times. After going 28-54 in 1986-87, the Spurs won the draft lottery and used the first pick to select David Robinson, a center out of Navy, who still had to serve two years in the Navy before joining the NBA. The Spurs would go 21-61 in the 1988-89 season and add Sean Elliott out of Arizona with the third pick of the draft.
Robinson would pay immediate dividends when he arrived in 1989, averaging over 24 points to go with 12 rebounds en route to winning Rookie of the Year, as the Spurs improved a record 35 games, going from 21 wins to 56 wins. The San Antonio Spurs odds to win it all in Robinson’s rookie year looked realistic, and while they won their first playoff series since 1983 by sweeping the Nuggets, they would then fall to the Blazers in seven games.
The Spurs would continue to play well during the regular season before losing before the Western conference finals, like in 1993-94, where Robinson scored 71 points on the season’s final day to wrest the scoring title away from Shaquille O’Neal, but the Spurs would lose in four games to the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.
The Spurs would win 62 games in the 1994-95 season, aft6er which David Robinson would be named league MVP. and fans bet on San Antonio Spurs to win it all, but the Spurs lost to Hakeem Olajuwon and the eventual champion Houston Rockets in the Western finals.
After another frustrating playoff loss in 1996, the Spurs would suffer a plethora of injuries in the 1996-97 campaign, as Robinson only played six games and the team went 20-62. The Spurs once again won the draft lottery and selected big man Tim Duncan out of Wake Forest.
Like Robinson before him, Duncan would make an immediate impact winning Rookie of the Year, teaming with Robinson to improve the Spurs, now led by coach Gregg Popovich, by a new-record 36 games, as the team went 56-26. While the San Antonio Spurs odds to win it all seemed realistic, they once again fell to the Jazz, this time in six games.
The following season was delayed by an owners’ lockout, but the Spurs went a league-best 37-13 during the shortened season, then ran through the Western playoffs, losing only one game, setting up an NBA Finals matchup against the eighth seeded New York Knicks. The San Antonio Spurs odds were strong to win it all against a smaller Knicks squad, and the Spurs won the series in five games, earning their first ever title as Duncan was named Finals MVP.
Duncan kept improving the next few seasons, but a bet on San Antonio Spurs would be unsuccessful as the Spurs were knocked out of the playoffs three straight times, including twice by the Lakers, who won three straight titles from 2000 through 2002. Duncan would be named league MVP in both 2002 and 2003, and he would also garner a second Finals MVP when the team won the 2003 title in six games over the New Jersey Nets, after which David Robinson would retire.
The Spurs would suffer an early playoff exit in 2004, before winning their third title in 2005, this time over the Detroit Pistons, with Duncan now supported by guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. In 2007, many fans bet on the San Antonio Spurs to sweep a young Cleveland Cavaliers team led by Lebron James and they did sweep, as Parker would be named Finals MVP.
The Spurs would fail to make the NBA Finals in five consecutive seasons, before returning to the Finals in 2013, where they would face the Miami Heat. The San Antonio Spurs odds to win their fifth title seemed to be near one hundred percent as the team was seconds away from closing out Game 6, but they blew a late lead in the final seconds before losing in overtime, and then lost a close Game 7. The following season, many fans bet on San Antonio Spurs to fall into a funk following the devastating loss, but the Spurs got their revenge against the Heat, riding hot shooting to a five game series win as young star Kawhi Leonard would be named Finals MVP.
Leonard would develop into the Spurs star as Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili aged, and while Leonard picked up a pair of Defensive Player of the Year awards, the Spurs failed to make it back to the NBA Finals, and eventually traded a disgruntled Leonard to the Raptors, who he would immediately lead to a title.
Without a superstar for the first time in three decades, the San Antonio Spurs odds went from title contended to playoff hopeful. The Spurs would ultimately miss the 2019-20 postseason, ending a 22-year streak, and narrowly missed again in 2021.
Championships: 5 (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)
00: Johnny Moore
6: Avery Johnson
9: Tony Parker
12: Bruce Bowen
13: James Silas
20: Manu Ginobili
21: Tim Duncan
32: Sean Elliott
44: George Gervin
50: David Robinson